by smb on October 7, 2008

This morning I had idea that was amazing.  Fueled by coffee and the crisp fall air; I typed out a mini manifesto.  it was good.  I could feel it.

Then the day took over.  The markets are plunging.  TV pundits are even daring to tell us to get our money out of the stock market entirely.  People are laughing about jokes that include the punch line “the end of days“.  And (seriously, I can’t make this up) @guykawasaki just tweeted that there is a rock headed straight for earth.

This is the kind of news that can undermine new endeavors. The exhilaration from a fantastic idea can wane when real world fears step in.  The nagging doubts begin: should I do it now?  Maybe I should mothball it?  Wouldn’t waiting be safer?  It can wait.

But can it?

The need for leadership doesn’t disappear when we aren’t in a boom.  Great ideas, and leaders, are born of circumstance, and inspired by context.  True innovators use the best and worst of what is around them.   Difficult times change the rules of the game.  You need to be more careful.  You may have to fight harder for your ideas. It takes a change in perspective to see opportunities and hope in a time of despair.

But if it’s really a great idea you can do that – right?  I thought so.

Some folks are seeing things differently.  Robert Scoble just posted about “half full” opportunities that can enrich your life, despite the economy: TED Talks, the Pixelated free online web conference, and amazing digital resources from the library of congress.  @garyvee tweeted about possibilities – even now.  Hugh, over at gapingvoid, did a great series of meditations about living on the edges as an evolving paradigm.

These guys (and many others) are the leaders that are going to continue to make things happen – while some will simply wait it out.  And if they do wait it out, they shouldn’t  be surprised when nothing happens.

Oh and my idea?  Stay tuned.


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